New Deal Seeks to Tackle Youth Unemployment

Merkel and Hollande. Photo: Garitan for Wikimedia Commons

Merkel and Hollande. Photo: Garitan for Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, French President François Hollande announced a Franco-German “offensive” that will bring hope to young jobseekers in Europe.

Youth organizations have welcomed the initiative. Andrea Gerosa, the founder of Think Young, a group that lobbies for the interests of young people, expressed her support for the initiative. “The countries where they have a very low unemployment rate, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, are the ones that implement these apprenticeship schemes,” she said.

The plan would use 6 billion euros loaned by the European Investment bank to help fund apprenticeships, fund jobseeker’s flights around the continent in search of work, offer language classes, and supplement wages.

The Commission indicated that all member states must take action. According to Olivier Bailly, spokesman for the EU Commission, several ideas have been proposed over the last 18 months, and now it is time to implement what has already been agreed.

The President met with the French, German, and Italian Ministers of Employment, Michel Sapin, Ursula von der Leyen, and Enrico Giovannini at the Elysée, along with their French and German Ministers of Finance, Pierre Moscovici and Wolfgange Schäuble. At the meeting, the President stressed that European unemployment had reached an unacceptable level.

Youth unemployment will be at the top of the EU leaders’ agenda at the next summit in June. According to the latest figures, 5.7 million people under the age of 25 are unemployed in the European Union. While Germany’s youth unemployment rate is 8%, it has reached 38% in Portugal and Italy, and has risen to more than 55% in Greece and Spain.

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